A couple of weeks ago I celebrated a birthday I thought I would never reach.Â I wish I had suffered amnesia like I did four years ago when I thought I was a year older than I actually was.Â My, that was a grand celebration of relief.Â You see, Iâ€™ve never been much for remembering dates.Â It is my brother that can recall every family member event with exact date detailâ€”birthdays, weddings, school graduations, vacation tripsâ€”even job starts and relocations.Â He doesnâ€™t say, â€śRemember our trip to Hawaii?â€ťÂ Rather, â€śRemember in May, 1992 when we went to Hawaii?â€ť
So, I had this birthday that most would declare as â€śmiddle ageâ€ť.Â I am officially middle age!!Â My father wonâ€™t discuss it.Â He cannot admit that he is old enough to have a daughter as old as I am.Â Fortunately, I work around people who are older than I am who give new meaning to growing older.Â No complaints from guests and co-workers about the aging process down in Sanibel at Oceanâ€™s Reach.Â We regularly host guests and owners who are on the northern side of 80 and 90.Â And you would never know.Â They are as hard to catch up with as our youngsters flying kites or chasing salamanders.Â Warm weather, sunshine, social contact, recreational activity and vitamin D all play an important role in the â€śyouthingâ€ť process.Â Not to mention the beach.Â The beach!
|So, donâ€™t ask me how old I am.Â Iâ€™ll admit only that I am younger than my age and that I feel more energetic and I smile more each day.Â But sadly, I think I celebrated my last birthday for awhile.Â I just canâ€™t get any older.Â Maybe Iâ€™ll celebrate an anniversary instead.Â Like Charlie does.Â He hasnâ€™t had a birthday in over 39 years.Â Imagine!Â But he loves his anniversary cards and anniversary celebration.Â Â Ask him how old he is and heâ€™ll reply, â€śIâ€™m celebrating my 31st anniversary of my 29th birthday.â€ťÂ We all laugh and chuckle but, if you look at and work with Charlie on a daily basis like I do, you will admit that a 31st anniversary never looked so good.|
Dru Anne DoyleÂ 11/30/08
Q. Whatâ€™s your best helpful hint for newly arriving Oceanâ€™s Reach guests?
A. Change from travel clothes into casual island dress. Get ready ASAP to enjoy the many exciting recreational and educational activities that Sanibel offers. Some of these include biking, swimming, shelling, kayaking, tennis and golf, just to name a few.
Q. What would you spend your first $10 vacation mad money on (Sanibel only)?
A. Rent a bike and get ready to explore Sanibelâ€™s many miles of wonderful bike paths.
Q. What are your top 3 activities on Sanibel?
A. There are so many to choose from, but I would pick biking, relaxing in the sun, and enjoyable dining out in the evening.
Q. Whatâ€™s best about the â€śnewâ€ť Oceanâ€™s Reach?
A. The beautiful landscaping and the wonderful newly refurbished gulf-front condominium units. Each condo has a direct view of the Gulf of Mexico.
Q. What would we be most surprised to know about you?
A. I was a farm boy who attended eight years in a one-room country schoolhouse with grades one through eight. In the eighth grade, I was the school janitor. I was paid the handsome sum of 50 cents per week, and was very glad to get it.
Q. With your resources, why did you select Oceanâ€™s Reach/Sanibel as your annual vacation destination?
A. For nearly 50 years, Mary Lou and I watched real estate development on Sanibel. Oceanâ€™s Reach is unique because of the proximity to the Gulf, its remote and serene location, and its wonderful, professional office management staff.
Q. What is the inspiration behind your new book?
A. Most of the manuscript was written two or more years ago. My training in economics permitted me to see the upcoming perfect economic storm on a global basis. This was evidenced by the spending and debt being incurred on a governmental and individual basis. The book is essentially a warning about impending global economic problems and what each of us as individuals can do to prepare a bulwark against such economic storms. The suggestions outlined in my book are ageless.
The book, Seeking Inner Peace and Financial Freedom: Stepping Stones in a Chaotic World, is available in bookstores or online from Barnes & Noble, Borders and Amazon.com, and from the publisher by calling (800) 288-4677.
Q. Whatâ€™s the best advice you can give to our guests to help them weather tough economic times?
A. My suggestions are simple: Spend less than the amount earned, and purchase only what is needed, not what is wanted.
Q. Has there been a time when you didnâ€™t follow your own advice?
A. No, frugality was deep-seated at an early age. I was reared that way.
Weâ€™ve always liked to travel; Mary Lou and I did that even when we didnâ€™t have much money. In our 60 years of marriage, we have spent money to travel extensively in the U.S., Canada and Europe.
Q. How has being an owner at Oceanâ€™s Reach affected you financially and personally?
A. Our investment in Oceanâ€™s Reach proved to be the cornerstone of our savings program. The rental return and price appreciation over the years has been unparalleled. Oceanâ€™s Reach is a rare piece of Sanibel real estate. Itâ€™s like finding a rare junonia shell on the beach, a â€śGem by the Sea.â€ť
Weâ€™ve watched Sanibel real estate for 50 years, and it has weathered many economic cycles over that time. Value has always been pushed forward by buyer demand and limited supply. It is my belief that the present represents a positive opportunity for acquiring a rare piece of island real estate. The long-term rewards are certain to be outstanding.
Note: Please consult your own financial advisor before making any investment decisions.
Weâ€™ve learned so much from our guests who are responding to our new online survey.Â If you havenâ€™t checked the results of our â€śquestion of the monthâ€ť recently, Oceanâ€™s Reach guests favor â€śshellingâ€ť and â€śrelaxationâ€ť as their top Sanibel Island vacation activities.Â Surprised?Â We were.Â While we knew that our guests regularly arrive with symptoms of island withdrawal, we were caught unaware with how popular shelling is and continues to be to our guests.
Â While it is fun to learn what others are doing and saying about their trip to Oceanâ€™s Reach– after all, Iâ€™m sure there is a lot in common among our guest list (Most of you are here for the small town sanctuary feel of the island, the proximity of Oceanâ€™s Reach to the beach, and the direct gulf front views and now the updated condo dĂ©cor, conveniences and furnishings.)–there is a business side to our asking.Â If shelling is so popular, how can Oceanâ€™s Reach provide a better shelling experience for you?
Or, if relaxing is your main reason to be at Oceanâ€™s Reach, are we providing the best relaxation experience possible for you? A frequent guest to Oceanâ€™s Reach emailed me recently thanking me for her â€śpre-arrivalâ€ť letter, saying that she was counting the â€śweeks, days, hours and secondsâ€ť before she arrived at OR.Â She complimented me on the online poll, saying that she was a â€śrelaxerâ€ť who regularly enjoys her favorite â€śpiece of paradiseâ€ť on Sanibel.Â However, she said that the favored activities in her family were not included in the pollâ€”birding and photography.Â So, I am opening up a new poll question, â€śHow do you relax on Sanibel?â€ť by asking for your help in providing sample answers.Â So, how DO you relax on Sanibel?
Please provide your answers over the next week to me by posting to this blog.Â We will take a sampling of your answers and include them in the December poll. And if you havenâ€™t voted to our current polls, make sure you do.Â Your vote counts.Â ďż˝
And you might just be rewarded like our shellers will beâ€”with a new shelling station at Oceanâ€™s Reach!!
Dru Anne DoyleÂ Â 11/26/08
Thank you for making us #1!
Itâ€™s a WOW for us seeing our #1 rating on TripAdvisor for Sanibel lodging.Â We are really excited to receive that designation and encouraged by all the nice comments we are reading from our guests.Â What does that mean personally to each of us?Â For me, it provides a daily motivation to make sure each guest knows they are #1 at Oceanâ€™s Reach.Â From the moment a contact is made to the conclusion of a stay, I want each of you to know how much you are appreciated and how much you deserve the best Oceanâ€™s Reach offers. We are well aware of the saving, planning and waiting with high expectations for your vacation on the beach.
If youâ€™d like to read a review from your fellow guests or start your career as a travel writer by writing a new review, follow this link. Please feel free to share your experiences for others to read.Â I encourage you also to share your comments with us at our online guest survey.Â Or blog on with me!
Recent guests, have you noticed our new online poll?Â Participate and view what your fellow guests are saying about their stay at Oceanâ€™s Reach.Â It seems that â€śrelaxingâ€ť is the most popular activity (or non-activity) of Oceanâ€™s Reachers.Â No big surprise.Â We hear that everyday.Â It just shows how harried and busy our daily lives areâ€”not to mention the ups and downs we encounter out of the blue that make us weary.
But, we are a little surprised at the breakout of â€śshellingâ€ť as a near tie with â€śrelaxingâ€ť.
So now the concept of â€śrelaxationâ€ť permeates our thinking as we make decisions about guest policies, resort activities and even how we design and furnish our condo interiors!
And shellers, weâ€™re in the planning stages of a newly designated shelling stationâ€”the best, we hope, on the islands.Â Your polling response has resulted in a brand new partnership with Sanibelâ€™s Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum.
So you shellers and relaxers (about 80% of our guests), email me with your ideas for making Oceanâ€™s Reach the ultimate relaxation and shelling destination!
I looked at the temperatures across the country and for the first time in my history, Sanibel was even with all of you up north.Â Itâ€™s been 45 â€“ 47 degrees the past few mornings.Â One day, it did not get above 70 degrees.Â But Iâ€™m not moaning as the best part about Sanibel weather is that the sun is sure to shine.Â And the next best part is seeing Andy and Charlie all dressed up in their long pants (what are dungarees?) and winter, wool sweaters.Â It is as if they long for just one day to dress up in their boyhood wooly wear.
So the next time I get a call from someone up north asking me, â€śHowâ€™s your weather down there?â€ťÂ Iâ€™ll tell them whether Andy has his shorts on or not.
Hello all, among the many activities available to visitors of the Sanibel area, fishing ranks among the top in my book.Â From talking to owners and visitors alike, I’ve become aware that fishing the beach in front of the Ocean’s Reach condominiums can be especially productive certain times of the year.Â In May, a couple that has come to Sanibel Island for many years told me that they have fished in May from shore at night andÂ found beach fishing to be very productive.Â They chose Ocean’s Reach this year because it is so close to the ocean and easier for them to access the fishing opportunities found on the beach.Â Also, a friend and fellow condo owner brings his sons down in the fall every yearÂ and fishes from shore, among his catches include: Snook, Shark (some very large!!!), as well as many other species.Â The fishing oppurtunities available at the beach provide an easy, relaxing, and fun experience for family and friends without the need to rent or charter a boat to access the open water.Â We welcome any insights, comments, or additional information regarding charter services, personal fishing guides, or local “hot spots.” Keep your sails full and your lines tight!